Le Petit Tour de France: Musée Miniature et Cinéma and Pérouges

Before we move on from my time in Lyon, I want to share some pictures from my day trip to the nearby village of Pérouges, as well as my visit to the wonderful Musée Miniature et Cinéma.

The museum is housed in la Maison des Avocats in Vieux Lyon, and has two collections – movie props and special effects artifacts and a collection of over 120 miniature scenes and artworks, many of them created by the amazing artist and museum founder, Dan Ohlmann. As my artistic ‘pièce de résistance’ of the year was a large embroidery depicting a doll’s house, this seemed like the perfect museum for me to visit…

 

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The collection of movie props was mildly entertaining, and brought out the inner nerd in me at some moments (I admit I was excited to see props from the Harry Potter movies – ridiculous, but true)…

 

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Plaster casts of celebrities’ faces used to make masks for various films – can you guess who they are?  I think these are beautiful objects, famous faces or not…

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YES! Gremlins! (I date myself, I know)…

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But the real excitement came when I entered the museum’s upper floors, and found the collection of miniatures. I spent close to two hours there, marveling at the incredible craftsmanship of many talented artists – a very inspiring experience for me, indeed…

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Amazing paper cut-outs by German artist, Engelhard Schmitt.  None of the pieces here are larger than 6 x 4 inches or so, but most are even smaller than that.  Incredible work…

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Schmitt’s nighttime scene of Lyon during the annual Festival of Lights…

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Amazing carved eggs by Gilbert and Caroline Timsit…

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A large part of the miniatures collection is housed in large display boxes like this – viewers move from window to window, peeking in on these dollhouse-sized scenes…

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Scenes by Françoise Andres…

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By Ronan-Jim Sevellec…

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Work by the museum’s founder, Dan Ohlmann…

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My favorite, miniature abandoned spaces by Laurie Chareyre – absolutely gorgeous…

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Bedroom by Michel Perez…

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I love how photographic all of these miniature scenes are – the lighting is brilliant and the compositions are lovely…

A miniature cabinet dollhouse by Mary Vega – a miniature of a miniature!

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Dollhouse chairs by Michel Teilhet…

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Beyond the furniture, it’s the tiny details that make this work so impressive to me – I loved these kinds of objects as a child, and I still do!

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By Billa Kaeppelin…

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Tiny tiles by Elisabeth Causeret-Bettler…

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These tiny hand-painted plates by Elisabeth Causeret-Bettler are about the size of a dime!

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By Emmanuelle Martinot and Neil Dyde…

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And I couldn’t resist including this little vignette by Pierre Dessert – it’s like Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel all rolled into one…

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In addition to visiting the museum and strolling the streets of Lyon during my stay, I took an afternoon away from the city and headed northeast to the tiny medieval village of Pérouges. Fortified behind stone walls, it sits atop a small hill a short walk from the train station in Meximieux…

 

The village as seen from below…

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And the view from the top of the hill…

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Historically a village of craftsman and farmers, it’s main industry now is tourism. During the 19th century, the population dropped from 1,500 people to 8 (yes, EIGHT!), and the village was almost demolished. However in 1911, after a campaign for its preservation, it was listed on various French historic registries and was slowly restored/conserved (about 1,200 people live there now).

Stone covers just about every inch of this quaint village – buildings, walls, and streets all blend together. As I was there in mid-November (“off-season”), the town was nearly deserted and blissfully calm. I enjoyed a delicious lunch and a quiet afternoon of wandering the tiny streets alone…

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The village’s main square, “Place du Tilleul”…

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I was surprised to find corn hanging from the ceiling here – it reminded me of trekking in Nepal…

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Near the main gate you’ll find “The Fortress Church” – simple, cold, and dark inside, but beautiful in its way…

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And with that, I’ve covered all of my time in the Lyon area here on the blog… Next, we’ll head over to the Atlantic side of France to visit La Rochelle and Nantes.  À bientôt!

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